Industry experts are certain that Nintendo will bring a successor to the enormously successful hybrid console Nintendo Switch onto the market in the near future. However, it is still uncertain when exactly this will happen. After all, there are increasing indications of a possible release of a Nintendo Switch 2 as early as the start of 2024.
The Nintendo Switch is a tremendous success for the Japanese console manufacturer, which is reflected not least in the sales figures: in the last financial quarter from April to June, almost four million more consoles were sold over the counters - that's an increase of almost 14 percent compared to the previous year. Nintendo has now sold a total of 129,53 million copies, according to the current sales report. Fans mostly choose the new OLED model: While sales of the Switch Lite and the original version fell by 26,7 percent and 51,3 percent respectively, the number of OLED Switch consoles sold rose by 83,6 percent year-on-year .
Software sales are also impressive: here, too, there is a big increase of 26,1 percent on paper compared to the previous year. A total of 52,2 million games were sold. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom takes the lion's share: fans accessed the new Zelda game 18,5 million times. The title jumped to ninth place among the best-selling Switch titles ever.
Given the good numbers, it should be clear that sooner or later Nintendo will have to let the cat out of the bag: announce a successor to the Nintendo Switch has not yet been officially communicated, but experts expect that the Japanese company will do so in the foreseeable future.
“Nintendo Switch 2”: Rumors have been increasing since July
Nintendo certainly won't be stressed out by the bubbling rumor mill. For good reason: there are still a few big game releases for Nintendo Switch coming up, but according to rumors Nintendo seems to be busy preparing for a successor console. There were already first tangible indications of the process at the beginning of July: A Spanish studio claims to have received a development kit for the “Nintendo Switch 2”. That is certainly within the realm of possibility, because although no company name was mentioned, a look at the sunny southern European country is fitting: MercurySteam would be an option, they are the makers of Metroid Dread and Metroid: Samus Returns.
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The now controversial industry veteran Bobby Kotick also followed up: He predicted that the new Nintendo Switch would be in the range of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 in terms of performance, which can also be understood as a very realistic forecast. For Nintendo, the pure performance of new consoles has no longer been at the forefront of the company's interests since the release of the Wii in 2006, but instead the focus has been on real technological innovations in order to stand out from the competition.
The strategy definitely worked, even if Nintendo initially caused dissatisfaction among core gaming fans due to its range of games that was heavily geared towards families. This has changed at least since the introduction of the Nintendo Switch: there are numerous game titles that are aimed at ambitious fans or adults. A similar strategy can be expected for the “Nintendo Switch 2”, simply because of the long-established competing consoles Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. In order to set new accents and thus incentives to buy, Nintendo must once again go all out and demonstrate the courage to innovate.
The games platform VGC also published a report in the summer that allegedly contained details about the development and release of a successor to the Nintendo Switch. Accordingly, the model should again be a hybrid console. It is also mentioned that Nintendo is supposed to take a step back to LCD instead of OLED when it comes to screens. Rumor has it to reduce production costs.
How realistic is the assessment? In view of the clear differences in quality between the classic Switch and the OLED Switch, this seems at least daring, but on the other hand, Nintendo could once again take a two-pronged approach in order to boost sales of a successor through a "competitive price" and later with a completely redesigned model for further sales also under Switch- 2 owners to worry about. The group has already achieved this with the current OLED model. A statement from Sharp CEO Robert Wu, who stated that LCD displays would be produced for a new console, would be appropriate. The rest remains a rumor.
There are now significantly more rumors about the alleged technical features of a Nintendo Switch 2. Once again it is VGC where they claim that the successor uses an 8-inch LCD screen - that would at least be an enlargement. For comparison: the switch's display measures 6,2 inches, the OLED switch's 7 inches. The storage capacity should be 512 GB.
Release: When will the Nintendo Switch 2 be released?
As unclear as the details about the hardware are, the targeted release date is just as unclear Nintendo Switch 2 currently. Microsoft made a statement in court documents submitted: According to this, the technology giant expects a successor to the Nintendo Switch in 2024. However, Microsoft did not narrow this down further - the prediction is simply "as early as next year." However, the company once again sees no competition in a new Nintendo Switch, simply due to the different life cycles of the current and future console generations.
Given how late the year is, it's unlikely that a surprise release will be released this Christmas, even if fans would like that from Nintendo. What is clear, however, is that the Japanese have significantly slowed down the number of top new releases: Pikmin 4, a prestigious title, was recently released, but overall the timetable suggests that Nintendo also seems to be gathering strength for the next generation of games . Nintendo would also have missed opportunities in the past direct shows - there was no word about a successor to the Nintendo Switch, but at least they presented some top-class game titles. There are now rumors of a showcase in September, possibly around the time of the Nintendo event in Seattle. From September 1st to 4th, an event including tournaments will take place in the Convention Center. Nintendo may have a surprise in store for Gamescom 2023, but this assumption doesn't seem to be really realistic given the overall lack of information.
Other rumors revolve around a release of a Nintendo Switch successor as early as spring 2024. Housing manufacturer “Hongzhun” is reportedly expecting an increase in sales in the second half of 2024, which is said to be due, among other things, to the successor to Nintendo’s hybrid console. Accordingly, the console should come onto the market at some point at the start of the year.
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